Keeping a healthy lawn is not easy. There is a lot of bad information and misconceptions out there that lead many homeowners to inadvertently kill their lawn. If you cannot seem to keep your grass green no matter what you do, there is a good chance you are making a mistake you do not even know about. Read on to find out some of the biggest errors homeowners make when caring for their lawn.
Watering Too Often
Water is good for your lawn, right? Yes, but there is a right way and a wrong way to give your lawn water. Frequent, short watering mean that your grass can always find enough water right at the surface of the soil. This is good for short term health but can lead to issues down the line.
The problem is that grass, like any living thing, adapts to its surroundings. When grass never needs to dig deep for water, it grows a shallow root system. A lawn that is not firmly anchored is much less likely to survive harsh conditions and will rely on always getting its frequent watering. Shallow root systems mean that your lawn can be physically damaged by pests and animals more easily, and also makes grass more susceptible to drought and disease. Weeds can more easily penetrate a shallow root system and start choking out areas of your lawn.
Instead of babying your lawn and giving it all the water it needs right at the surface, the better way to water a lawn is with infrequent, deep watering sessions. This saturates the soil with water and encourages grass to dig deeper to get the water that penetrates further into the ground. Not only does this cost you less water for just as lush a lawn, but it also means that your grass will be much better able to stand up to all kinds of threats. Train your grass to grow in a way that is healthy, and the benefits will be clear.
Throwing Away Grass Clippings
It is extremely common to discard dead plant material from yards. Most homeowners are guilty of this mistake at one point or another. However, throwing away plant life that grew in your soil is a big mistake that will eventually have big consequences.
When plants grow, they pull the nutrients and minerals that make up their physical structure from the ground they grow in. Most people know this intellectually, but do not think about the consequences of this process. The plants that grow in your yard, including the grass, are made of the nutrients in your soil. When you cut your grass and throw it away, all of the nutrients that grass was made of are now permanently removed from your yard!
Over time, discarding your yard waste will deplete your soil, until eventually it is too barren to support plant life. Fertilizer is one way to combat this, but it is costly and not as effective as returning your grass clippings to the soil naturally.
The key to this process is a mulching blade for your lawnmower. This is a blade that is designed to cut grass, and then shred that grass into small pieces. The mulch this produces is gold for lawn care enthusiasts. Not only will the grass mulch eventually decompose and replenish your soil with helpful nutrients, but until then it also forms a protective layer that absorbs and retains water. A layer of mulch will significantly reduce how much water your lawn needs by keeping water available to your lawn rather than evaporating or sinking through the soil out of reach.
Mowing With Dull Blades
Dull lawnmower blades mangle grass. Every time you mow your lawn, you are creating open wounds in the blades of grass you cut. Grass is a hardy plant and is able to stand up to this, but that does not mean that the process is not stressful. The sharper the blade, the cleaner the cut, which is much healthier for your lawn.
If a cut is not clean, it exposes a lot more of the vulnerable inside of the blades of grass to the air. Water that the plant has gathered evaporates from the cut, and it becomes vulnerable to disease. Over time, these mangled cuts can lead to browner color, and eventually can kill some of your grass. Keep your blades sharp to make mowing as low-impact as possible on your lawn.
Mowing A Wet Lawn
Wet grass is hard to cut. It clogs your lawnmower blades, and it creates muddy debris that will make it harder for your grass to grow. It also cuts unevenly, similar to cutting with a dull blade. Like in that case, these uneven cuts lead to loss of moisture and increased vulnerability for affected plants. Make sure your lawn is as dry as possible when mowing.
Mowing The Same Way Every Time
With tasks like yard work, it is easy to fall into a routine. For many tasks, this can be a good thing. A routine ensures that you do not forget anything, since you can memorize the task more easily. However, mowing the lawn is one case in which following a set routine can be damaging.
Mowing a lawn in West Chester Ohio is like combing your hair. If you comb it the same way every time, your hair will develop a memory for how it was combed. For a lawn, this is not desirable; most people do not want their lawn to have a part. For even growth, alternate mowing directions and routes to avoid creating biases in how your grass sits and grows.
Avoid these common lawn care pitfalls, and you will be sure to see a difference in how your lawn looks and feels. Most homeowners make at least one of these big lawn care mistakes, often with disastrous consequences. Think about how you care for your lawn, and make sure that you are not making one of these lawn care errors. Your lawn with thank you.